WeeklyTech #157

Resetting Our Relationship with Technology

Let’s be honest. The last few years have not been an ideal time for any of our families. High anxiety, cultural tensions, economic downturns, health issues, technology habits/addictions, and so much more have made this quite an overwhelming season for most of us. As we start a new school year and gear up for the fall season, most of us are thinking about developing new patterns and habits across the board but especially with our use of technology. Given our over dependence on social media and these tools for so many aspects of life, we all could likely use a reset in our relationship with technology. 

Pushing Reset 

The first step in resetting our relationship with technology is to recognize the influence of these tools and how they are ultimately discipling us or shaping how we view the world around us. It is far too easy to just see technology as simply a tool that we use as we desire and then put down without being changed by it. While technology itself is not evil or bad, it does influence and changes us with each swipe and notification. These tools are designed to be used in certain ways and they can easily alter the way we see God, ourselves, and the world around us. They are also discipling our teenagers in deep and subtle ways that can be both incredibly dangerous but also beneficial when used with wisdom. 

As parents, we are called by God to disciple our children but what do we do when the device attached to their hand is with them more than we are? Part of discipling our teenagers and raising up the next generation is helping them to see how these tools are subtly changing them, whether it is through the constant need to perform or look a certain way online, a longing for likes and affection, or even an envious desire for the things that the algorithms are trying to sell them all day, every day. 

Having open and honest conversations about the role and influence of technology in our lives can be the first step in lasting change, because through these little ongoing conversations we can be trained to see both the good and the bad of technology as we seek to disciple our children to love God and love our neighbors above themselves (Matt. 22:37-39). 

The Rundown

Responsible AI has a burnout problem by Melissa Heikkilä | MIT

Mitchell, who now works as an AI researcher and chief ethics scientist at the AI startup Hugging Face, is far from alone in her experience. Burnout is becoming increasingly common in responsible-AI teams, says Abhishek Gupta, the founder of the Montreal AI Ethics Institute and a responsible-AI consultant at Boston Consulting Group. 

Twitter Should Moderate Communities, Not Content by Jim Harper | AEI

With Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter now finalized, the issue of how he is going to run the company is fully joined. Musk announced that there would be no change to Twitter’s content policies until a “content moderation council” is convened. It’s a good time to consider the truly vast range of options available to Musk and Twitter. In my opinion, Twitter should de-emphasize content moderation in favor of community moderation.

Why is America coming apart? by Andrew T. Walker | WORLD

Perhaps it’s my relative youth showing, or what C.S. Lewis referred to as “chronological snobbery,” but surveying the surrounding culture and observing the increasing polarity of our national debates, I often think to myself, “have things ever been so cataclysmically strange?” There is a general sentiment I hear expressed by people from all walks of life, some even much older than myself. I talk to so many who perceive the moral disarray and fragmentation of America with disbelief and shock.

The Unintended Consequences of Apple’s Fertility Tech by Amanda Hoover | Wired

When the new Apple Watch was unveiled this fall, it came with an intriguing feature: the ability to estimate whether someone had ovulated by measuring their temperature from their wrist. Apple said that the feature could help people understand their bodies, or help people know the optimal time to try to get pregnant. It also warned that this information should not be used as a form of birth control. Problem is, Apple says one thing and people do another.